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Fighter Sweep over Port Moresby on June 16, 1942
Tainan Kokutai A6M2 Zero

Japanese Side
(Morning Fighter Sweep) In the morning, A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kokutai took off from Lae Airfield on a fighter sweep over Port Moresby. Over the target, they engage enemy Airacobra and claim 17 shot down and two probables. The Zeros suffer no losses or damage.

Claims
Tainan pilots claim 17 shot down and 2 probables
Saburo Sakai: P-39 x 4 (including 1 indefinite)
Hiroyoshi Nishizawa: P-39 x 2
Masayoshi Yonekawa: no claims in official report (Samurai suggests P-39 x 2)
Takeichiro Hidaka: P-39 x 1

(Afternoon Fighter Sweep) In the afternoon, the Japanese fly a second fighter sweep against Port Moresby. Shot down is A6M2 Zero piloted by Hidaka shot down by Francis "Frank" R. Royal.


American Side
USAAF Combat Chronology Tuesday, June 16, 1942
"FEAF was planning a joint strike against Lae and Salamaua similar to the operation of June 9. The morning schedule was interrupted by a fighter sweep of A6M2 Zeros of the Tainan Kokutai over the Port Moresby area. 32 P-39 and P-400 Airacobra of the 39th Fighter Squadron and 40th Fighter Squadron were scrambled. They were hit hard and four were shot down and two heavily damaged."

Alert Sounded 0814 "15 Zeros reported from Salamaua [Golden Voice or NGVR] ETA 0845"
Airacobras take off at 0820, a total of 34 P-39 and P-400 Airacobras take off from the 39th and 40th Fighter Squadron. Eighteen Airacobras (2 abort before the combat) of the 39th FS take off from 14-Mile Drome and 12-Mile Drome.
Eighteen Airacobras of the 40th FS take off from 7-Mile Drome.
All clear sounded 0935

Losses
P-39F 41-7204 pilot Rehrer (rescued)
P-39F 41-7136 pilot Rice (MIA)
P-39F 41-7222 pilot Hutcheson (rescued)
P-39 piloted by Lynch (rescued)
Damaged
Airacobra 61 (damaged)
Airacobra 43 (damaged)

39th FS Pilots
Lt. Francis R. Royal
Captain Robert L. Faurot
P-39F 41-7204 pilot Lt. Rehrer (shot down)
Carl T. Rauch
Richard C. Suehr
P-39 piloted by Lynch (shot down)
?
?
?
?
?
?
?
?
?
?
? (aborts before combat)
? (aborts before combat)

Other 39th FS Pilots (in roster on June 16, 1942)
Frank E. Adkins
Francis E. Angier
George H. Bartlett
Walter O. Beane, Jr.
Jack W. Berry
Robert E. Douglas
Hoyt A. Eason
J. H. Foster
Donald J. Greene
Robert J. Hinson
John T. Hylton, Jr.
Curran L. “Jack” Jones
Charles W. King
Wilmot R. Marlott
Ralph G. Martin
Robert F. McMahon
George A. Parker
John C. Price
Wayne A. Shoup
Charles P. Sullivan
Eugene A. Wahl

40th FS Pilot
Red Flight
Lt. Stephen Smith C. O. - 61 (damaged, WIA)
Stimson - 41-6929
Kirtland - 54
Shriver - 7209

Purple Flight
Airacobra 51 pilot Lt. Harvey J. Scandrett
P-39F 41-7222 pilot Hutcheson (shot down, rescued)
Stauter - 42
P-39F 41-7136 pilot Rice (shot down, MIA)

Green Flight
Vogel - 47
Schaffer - 141
Oliver - 144
Cottam 41-7137

Blue Flight
Gambonini - 66
Wilson - 40
"Spence" Johnson - 43 (badly damaged)
Magre - 6941

References
Kodochosho, Tainan Kōkūtai June 16, 1942 translation by Osamu Tagaya
35th FG Operations 16 June 1942 by Edward Rogers
40th FS Records June 16, 1942 via Carlos Dannacher
P-39 Airacobra Aces of WWII page 14-15
Winged Samurai by Henry Sakaida pages 86, 97
Cobra in the Clouds by John Stanaway, pages 9-10
Samurai! by Saburo Sakai pages 127-128 Dogfight Over Port Moresby June 16, 1942 pages 145-146
Thanks to Edward Rogers, Osamu Tagaya and Henry Sakaida for additional research and analasis

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